How My Horse and I Beat the Heat

You tell us what you do to stay cool during a sizzling summer’s-day trail ride.

My riding “buds” and I go early-early, before it gets hot. That works on all but the most miserable of high-summer days.

Credit: Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

Jimmie Hart Davis, Oklahoma

I enjoy the shade of trees, wading through the water’s edge of lakes, and trudging through streams in wooded trails. My mare would agree; she loves to stick her nose down deep into the water, or paw at it with her front hooves. Adorable to watch.

Kimberly Grindle, Maine

I used to wear this huge straw sun visor; now I use a stretchy, rubbery one over my helmet. I stay a lot cooler with the sun off my face.

Julianne Curtis, New Mexico

On hot days I don’t eat much. Eating stokes the internal fire. You need just enough fuel to keep the internal pilot light going.

Carole Zundel, Montana

We use Techkewl cooling vests by Techniche. The ice packs keep us cool during summer rides and other activities.

M. Llewellyn, Colorado

We make use of the shade from trees, plus my horse and I go through the nearby creek to cool off. Occasionally we’ll share a freeze pop after our ride.

Shae Sperry, Massachusetts

My friends and I take our horses swimming in the stream or in a nearby pond. It always cools all of us off.

Chelsie Nickerson, Maine

I actually carry a little plastic spray bottle I use to spritz my face and sleeves, and my mare’s neck. (I’m sure this would only work in a dry climate, though!)

Anita Donohue, Arizona

Keeping well-hydrated helps. I carry one or two half-frozen water bottles in my cantle roll, and make sure the route includes places where my horse can drink.

Cindy Ryerson, Texas

I wear all-cotton clothes. All that “wicking action” of synthetics doesn’t compensate for the extra warmth they create; I depend on the breathability of cotton.

Stephanie Myers, California

I cool my horse with a bath after the ride. I typically get as wet as he does, so it’s a win-win situation.

Emily Frederickson, Washington

Years ago someone gave me a cooling neck scarf; you wet it and put it in the fridge, and it stays cool a remarkably long time around your neck as you ride.

Kelsey Marsden, Nevada

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